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^THUNDER'S    T)EATH   SONG

them and on down Into the deep^ slushy snow.
When they got up and tried to run they found
that instead of having on a pair of the fastest snow-
shoes in existence they had two heavy Impedi-
ments,, resembling tennis rackets, dangling about
their ankles. As they struggled knee-deep In the
snow, they were shot down without mercy by the
enraged Blackfeet.

When the short, fierce encounter had ended
every Cree, except one boy, had been killed.
This boy was left alive and sent back to his people
—according to the Indian custom—to tell them
the story of the massacre.

Only one of our Blackfeet was wounded. This
was Rock Thunder5 one of the most renowned
warriors in our history. He sustained a severed
sinew in the back of his ankle., which made It
impossible for him to walk. With his arms about
the necks of two fellow warriors, he kept up with
the party for several days, while they were trek-
king back to meet us. But he soon felt that he
was a drag on the party, and requested that he
be allowed to die In the manner usually chosen
by Incapacitated warriors. He asked them to
burn him on a pyre. The others refused to heed
his request. They insisted that he was not a
burden on them, and declared that they would
gladly carry him back to his people. But Rock
Thunder continued to plead with them.

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